Martin (Hache)

Institute History

  • 1998 Sundance Film Festival


For a film that encompasses the Spanish film industry and the Argentinian punk scene, cocaine binges, hedonistic bisexual thespians, suicide attempts, and Miramax deals, Martin (Hache) is surprisingly subtle and literate, fueled more by conversation and debate than by sex, drugs, and hardcore. Martin (the renowned Federico Luppi), a celebrated Argentinian director exiled in Spain, has withdrawn emotionally from the world. He is forced to come to terms with life when his estranged slacker son collapses from a drug overdose in Buenos Aires, then arrives to live with him in Madrid.

Once there, Martin “Hache” (Juan Diego Botto), the diminutive, enters the world of his father, his father’s girlfriend Alicia (Cecelia Roth), and his father’s flamboyant best friend, Dante (Eusebio Poncela). Rifts in recent Argentine history are echoed in the relationship between father and son: from the mosh pits of Buenos Aires to Madrid’s finest restaurants; from grunge chords to jazz riffs; and from wasted youth to bitter old age. Thrown into the heady mix are Alicia and Dante, who now have another gauge with which to measure the elder Martin, and when the four land in Andalusia to scout for film locations, the relationships twist tighter and the tensions mount until, finally, something has to give. Aided by fine ensemble acting, acclaimed Argentine filmmaker Adolfo Aristarain fashions a soulful tale of two cities and two Martins, filled with arrivals,ultimatums, and departures.

Adolfo Aristarain, Director
I have a sixteen-year-old son. He is at an age when one begins to be pressured by the absurd commandment: to study or to work. That way of thinking ruled my day also. But this has all changed today. To follow a career assures you absolutely nothing, and to work, even less. I believe there needs to be a time for young people to look for something they like. The key is in doing what you like. This is what I explore in my film.

— Genevieve Villaflor

Screening Details

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